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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Wood, Robert G.; Kisker, Ellen
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    This brief summarizes key findings from a study of the implementation of the Steps to Success program, a home visiting program for adolescent mothers that offers counseling on contraception, adequate birth spacing, parenting, and child development. Healthy Families San Angelo (HFSA)—an experienced, community-based organization in San Angelo, Texas—implemented the program with funding from a Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) grant. The implementation study was conducted in conjunction with a rigorous impact study in which adolescent mothers who agreed to take part in the study were randomly assigned to Steps to Success or to a control group that received a more traditional home visiting program that focused only on parenting and child development. (Author abstract) 

    This brief summarizes key findings from a study of the implementation of the Steps to Success program, a home visiting program for adolescent mothers that offers counseling on contraception, adequate birth spacing, parenting, and child development. Healthy Families San Angelo (HFSA)—an experienced, community-based organization in San Angelo, Texas—implemented the program with funding from a Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) grant. The implementation study was conducted in conjunction with a rigorous impact study in which adolescent mothers who agreed to take part in the study were randomly assigned to Steps to Success or to a control group that received a more traditional home visiting program that focused only on parenting and child development. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Dion, Robin; Holcomb, Pamela; Zaveri, Heather; D'Angelo, Angela Valdovinos; Clary, Elizabeth; Friend, Daniel; Baumgartner, Scott
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Broad changes in family demographics have left many children without the support or involvement of their fathers. As a result of high rates of nonmarital births and divorce, millions of American children do not live with both of their parents. Rates of nonresidence are particularly high among groups that tend to face more economic challenges: 58 percent of black children and 31 percent of Hispanic children were living without their biological fathers in 2012. Father absence is associated with a range of unfavorable outcomes for children, including poor social-emotional adjustment, dropping out of school, and experiencing mental health problems as adults.

    Research suggests that the negative effects for children of father absence may be mitigated through greater father involvement. Nonresidential fathers’ greater contact with their children is associated with fewer child and adolescent behavior problems. The quality of father-child interaction also appears to matter. Nonresidential fathers’ engagement in child-related activities has been found to be linked to positive social...

    Broad changes in family demographics have left many children without the support or involvement of their fathers. As a result of high rates of nonmarital births and divorce, millions of American children do not live with both of their parents. Rates of nonresidence are particularly high among groups that tend to face more economic challenges: 58 percent of black children and 31 percent of Hispanic children were living without their biological fathers in 2012. Father absence is associated with a range of unfavorable outcomes for children, including poor social-emotional adjustment, dropping out of school, and experiencing mental health problems as adults.

    Research suggests that the negative effects for children of father absence may be mitigated through greater father involvement. Nonresidential fathers’ greater contact with their children is associated with fewer child and adolescent behavior problems. The quality of father-child interaction also appears to matter. Nonresidential fathers’ engagement in child-related activities has been found to be linked to positive social, emotional and behavioral adjustment in children.

    To address these issues, Congress has funded the Responsible Fatherhood (RF) grant program since 2006. The grant program is administered by the Office of Family Assistance at the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. RF grants require programs to offer services for fathers in three areas: parenting and fatherhood, economic stability, and healthy marriage and relationships.

    The Parents and Children Together (PACT) evaluation is studying four RF programs using a rigorous multi-component research design. Conducted by Mathematica Policy Research for the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation at ACF, PACT focuses on three broad areas: fathers’ backgrounds, views, and experiences (qualitative study component), how the programs were implemented (implementation study component), and the programs’ effects on fathers’ outcomes (impact study component). Recognizing that RF programming will continue to grow and evolve, PACT is providing a building block in the evidence base to guide ongoing and future program design and evaluation efforts. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Avellar, Sarah; Covington, Reginald ; Moore, Quinn ; Patnaik, Ankita; Wu, April
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Children who are supported emotionally and financially by their fathers tend to fare better than those without such support. Despite wanting to be strong parents, providers, and partners, many fathers struggle to fulfill these roles. Recognizing both the importance of fathers and the challenges that they face, Congress has authorized and funded grants for fatherhood programs for more than a decade. The Office of Family Assistance (OFA), which is in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, awards and oversees these grants. ACF designed the responsible fatherhood (RF) grants to help fathers overcome barriers to effective and nurturing parenting, support their family formation and healthy relationships, and improve economic outcomes for themselves and their families.

    To learn more about the effectiveness of these programs, OFA funded, and ACF’s Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation oversaw, a contract with Mathematica Policy Research to conduct the Parents and Children Together (PACT) evaluation. The PACT...

    Children who are supported emotionally and financially by their fathers tend to fare better than those without such support. Despite wanting to be strong parents, providers, and partners, many fathers struggle to fulfill these roles. Recognizing both the importance of fathers and the challenges that they face, Congress has authorized and funded grants for fatherhood programs for more than a decade. The Office of Family Assistance (OFA), which is in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, awards and oversees these grants. ACF designed the responsible fatherhood (RF) grants to help fathers overcome barriers to effective and nurturing parenting, support their family formation and healthy relationships, and improve economic outcomes for themselves and their families.

    To learn more about the effectiveness of these programs, OFA funded, and ACF’s Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation oversaw, a contract with Mathematica Policy Research to conduct the Parents and Children Together (PACT) evaluation. The PACT RF impact study was a large-scale, random assignment examination of four federally funded RF programs that received grants in 2011. This report discusses the impacts of those programs on fathers’ parenting, relationships, economic stability, and well-being about one year after the fathers enrolled.

    The evaluation team selected four grantees to participate in the PACT RF study: (1) Connections to Success in Kansas and Missouri, (2) Fathers’ Support Center in Missouri, (3) FATHER Project at Goodwill–Easter Seals Minnesota, and (4) Urban Ventures in Minnesota. As required by ACF, the RF grantees offered services in three areas: (1) parenting and fatherhood, (2) healthy marriage and relationships, and (3) economic stability.

    In each RF program in PACT, group-based workshops were a core service for delivering much of the required content. Facilitators in the workshops led fathers in discussions about topics such as the meaning of fatherhood, child development, co-parenting, and finding and retaining employment. Grantees based their workshops mostly on published curricula on parenting and healthy marriage, but they developed their own curricula for economic stability services. Grantees also offered individualized support to help fathers with economic stability—for example, at three of the four programs, specialized employment staff met one on one with participants. All four programs in PACT also covered personal development topics, such as coping with stress, responding to discrimination, problem solving, self-sufficiency, and goal planning.

    The typical father in the PACT RF study was a disadvantaged man of color in his thirties. Of the men enrolled, 77% were African American, and 6% were Hispanic. They each had two or three children on average. Nearly half (46%) had children with multiple women. Before enrolling in the study, fathers’ average monthly earnings were $378, less than half the weekly earnings of the average full-time worker in the U.S. (Author introduction)

     

  • Individual Author: Cramer, Lindsey; Goff, Margaret; Peterson, Bryce; Sandstrom, Heather
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    Relationships between children and their parents are the foundation on which children learn how to form and sustain healthy relationships. Disrupting those relationships—by losing a parent to incarceration, for example—can have long-term effects on children and may lead to antisocial behavior, poor school performance, and physical and mental health problems.

    Recent estimates show that 2.7 million US children have a parent who is incarcerated, and more than 5 million children—7 percent of all US children—have had a parent in prison or jail at some point. African American children and children from economically disadvantaged families are more likely to experience parental incarceration.

    To mitigate the risks of parental incarceration for children, some correctional agencies offer parent-child visits in prisons or jails. There are several types of parent-child visits, but many experts believe contact visits, where the child and parent can physically interact, are the most helpful in safeguarding against risk and forging stronger bonds between parents and children....

    Relationships between children and their parents are the foundation on which children learn how to form and sustain healthy relationships. Disrupting those relationships—by losing a parent to incarceration, for example—can have long-term effects on children and may lead to antisocial behavior, poor school performance, and physical and mental health problems.

    Recent estimates show that 2.7 million US children have a parent who is incarcerated, and more than 5 million children—7 percent of all US children—have had a parent in prison or jail at some point. African American children and children from economically disadvantaged families are more likely to experience parental incarceration.

    To mitigate the risks of parental incarceration for children, some correctional agencies offer parent-child visits in prisons or jails. There are several types of parent-child visits, but many experts believe contact visits, where the child and parent can physically interact, are the most helpful in safeguarding against risk and forging stronger bonds between parents and children.

    Although some evidence suggests visiting practices can lessen the trauma associated with parental incarceration, the full effects of visiting remain understudied. Our goal was to help inform researchers and practitioners about what is known about visiting practices, describe key components of visiting practices, and offer recommendations for practice and research. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Fontaine, Jocelyn; Eisenstat, Josh ; Cramer, Lindsey
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    The Fatherhood Reentry projects provided activities to fathers (and their families) in institutional settings as they were nearing release (“prerelease”) and in their offices located in the community (“postrelease”). All six projects provided services in multiple institutional settings: federal prisons (KISRA), state prisons (KISRA, LSS, NJDOC, PB&J, RIDGE, and Rubicon), county/regional jails (KISRA, PB&J, RIDGE, and Rubicon), and residential substance abuse treatment facilities (Rubicon). All projects provided services in their community-based offices for participants served by the program prerelease. This brief, one of three in a series, focuses on the projects’ efforts to support the marital, romantic, and/or coparenting relationships of program participants. In addition to serving fathers, the Fatherhood Reentry projects included several activities to strengthen the relationships between fathers and their partners/coparents and to encourage coparenting and family reunification. This brief first provides a review of the literature on the importance of strengthening...

    The Fatherhood Reentry projects provided activities to fathers (and their families) in institutional settings as they were nearing release (“prerelease”) and in their offices located in the community (“postrelease”). All six projects provided services in multiple institutional settings: federal prisons (KISRA), state prisons (KISRA, LSS, NJDOC, PB&J, RIDGE, and Rubicon), county/regional jails (KISRA, PB&J, RIDGE, and Rubicon), and residential substance abuse treatment facilities (Rubicon). All projects provided services in their community-based offices for participants served by the program prerelease. This brief, one of three in a series, focuses on the projects’ efforts to support the marital, romantic, and/or coparenting relationships of program participants. In addition to serving fathers, the Fatherhood Reentry projects included several activities to strengthen the relationships between fathers and their partners/coparents and to encourage coparenting and family reunification. This brief first provides a review of the literature on the importance of strengthening such relationships for fathers who are incarcerated or were formerly incarcerated. This brief then describes the healthy relationship activities provided by the Fatherhood Reentry programs in detail. A conclusion section includes recommendations intended for practitioners implementing family-focused programming for fathers impacted by incarceration and their partners/coparents based on the experiences of the Fatherhood Reentry projects. (Author introduction) 

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